I apologize for the tardiness of this post, but this week I have been sick with the flu, my elderly Mother has been hospitalized in England, and so blogging has taken a back seat.
Indeed, I am not feeling up to par, and my brain is addled.
But the bonds of love run deep, providing care of the body, support for the soul and kindly deeds from the heart. My partner John has made soups and hot toddies. Family back home have kept me informed of my Mother's progress. I have talked with my father daily, and my old school friend Cynthia has provided caring strategic planning and nourishment.
My Father, responding to my Mother's horror of hospital-made pasties, (her favorite Cornish dish), lovingly baked a homemade pasty for her this morning, and took it to her with a Cupid arrow stuck in the top! How sweet is that for Valentines! They will both be 90 this year.
Their love has been constant over the years; unfaltering. They are a true example of how love can conquer all.
As Shakespeare said:
"Love is not love which alters it when alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! It is an ever fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, but bears it out, even to the edge of doom."
In his poem about Love, George Herbert personifies Love as God.
He builds a metaphor on the theme of God being a host of a dinner in his house..He serves food in the form of love, acceptance and understanding. It is primarily a Christian poem about communion, and the sharing of the body and blood of Christ. But it is an important metaphor for the meaning of Love in a literal sense. I included the poem here to add dimension to the thought of love coming from different perspectives, and especially in the light of the way my Father showed his love to Mum.
LOVE bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack'd anything.
'A guest,' I answer'd, 'worthy to be here:'
Love said, 'You shall be he.'
'I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on Thee.'
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
'Who made the eyes but I?'
'Truth, Lord; but I have marr'd them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.'
'And know you not,' says Love, 'Who bore the blame?'
'My dear, then I will serve.'
'You must sit down,' says Love, 'and taste my meat.'
So I did sit and eat.
George Herbert 1593-1632
Shakespeare describes a romantic love between lovers, acknowledging that others may not perceive their object of love in the same way, and yet love prevails...
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.”
And then he talks about everlasting, undying romantic love, seen through rose colored glasses...
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And too often is his gold complexion dimm'd:
And every fair from fair sometimes declines,
By chance or natures changing course untrimm'd;
By thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.”
Intellectually he would never know, but for me it was cathartic.
A man's best friend,
I've heard it said,
All is not lost
My arms outspread
to life, but at what cost?
The thinnest thread?
Our dearest Codey,
Our dearest puppy
the edge of reason,
A heavy sadness
clouds my eyes
I struggle now to realize
how kindness is the greatest gift
to give a friend
who's made that shift
towards the end
We say it now,
Good bye my friend,
our darling dog
who would defend
Our house, our lives,
until the end
We choose this way
to honor you
For loving memories
old and new
Seventeen years of
the peaceful dove
Named for unconditional love
Your name is short for
Now we send your soul above
to join the sea of
And as you find your freedom
And lay your head to rest,
We thank you for your precious time
For we're the ones who're blessed
And as you cross the purple sky
We dry our tears
for you know why
You spread your wings
And off you fly
And you know
how our love grows,
"Who knows where the Time goes ?"
Susan Golden ( last verse inspired by Sandy Denny)
My daughter Vita Pascone works in San Francisco, and is offering a work shop on the study of love and the different kinds of love, that we give and accept. She illustrated this with a beautiful but simple illustration
"Valentine’s day while it can be corny, I find is a great opening to discuss the ways in which we give and need love and the values and character traits we bring to the world.”
I send you here a wreath of blossoms blown,
And woven flowers at sunset gathered,
Another dawn had seen them ruined, and shed
Loose leaves upon the grass at random strown.
By this, their sure example, be it known,
That all your beauties, now in perfect flower,
Shall fade as these, and wither in an hour,
Flower-like, and brief of days, as the flower sown.
Ah, time is flying, lady--time is flying;
Nay, 'tis not time that flies but we that go,
Who in short space shall be in churchyard lying,
And of our loving parley none shall know,
Nor any man consider what we were;
Be therefore kind, my love, whiles thou art fair.
Romantic love is well expressed in this beautiful poem by Christina Rossetti
I loved you first: but afterwards your love
Outsoaring mine, sang such a loftier song
As drowned the friendly cooings of my dove.
Which owes the other most? my love was long,
And yours one moment seemed to wax more strong;
I loved and guessed at you, you construed me
And loved me for what might or might not be –
Nay, weights and measures do us both a wrong.
For verily love knows not ‘mine’ or ‘thine;’
With separate ‘I’ and ‘thou’ free love has done,
For one is both and both are one in love:
Rich love knows nought of ‘thine that is not mine;’
Both have the strength and both the length thereof,
Both of us, of the love which makes us one.
And of teen love, even in the late 1800's Ella Wheeler Cox wrote quite a risqué and sensuous poem about young passion and desire.
I Love You
BY ELLA WHEELER WILCOX 1850-1919
I love your lips when they’re wet with wine
And red with a wild desire;
I love your eyes when the lovelight lies
Lit with a passionate fire.
I love your arms when the warm white flesh
Touches mine in a fond embrace;
I love your hair when the strands enmesh
Your kisses against my face.
Not for me the cold, calm kiss
Of a virgin’s bloodless love;
Not for me the saint’s white bliss,
Nor the heart of a spotless dove.
But give me the love that so freely gives
And laughs at the whole world’s blame,
With your body so young and warm in my arms,
It sets my poor heart aflame.
So kiss me sweet with your warm wet mouth,
Still fragrant with ruby wine,
And say with a fervor born of the South
That your body and soul are mine.
Clasp me close in your warm young arms,
While the pale stars shine above,
And we’ll live our whole young lives away
In the joys of a living love.
A short quip of a poem, written by Robert Herrick pokes erotic fun at his lover's breasts..
Upon Julia’s Breasts
BY ROBERT HERRICK
Display thy breasts, my Julia, there let me
Behold that circummortal purity;
Between whose glories, there my lips I’ll lay,
Ravished in that fair Via Lactea.
Robert Herrick, (1591 - 1674), was responsible for composing the most famous poem, "Gather yet rosebuds while he may.." In which he essentially says, " Hurry up and enjoy life and love before you lose the opportunity.."
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.
This is for you, my loving, beloved parents .
Come dance with me one more time , my love
Come waltz with me and be mine, my love
Our lives we have spent with loving intent
Come dance with me one more time
Come sing with me while there’s a voice, my love
Come sing with me, let's rejoice, my love
For we have loved through choice, my love
Come sing with me while there's still time
Come walk with me into the light, my love
Come talk to me through the night my love
I'll hold you till day and for bliss we shall pray
Come walk with me into the light
Come lay with me one more time my love
Let us share in our love sublime , my love
For soon we must go, but our hearts will still glow
With the true love we've shared for all time
As the sun warms the grass on our graves, my love
Our souls will rise up like great waves , my love.
We'll swell and we'll break with the world in our wake ,
And the tide will bring peace to the world , my love
And the tide will bring peace to the world.
Copy write Susan Golden
Happy Belated Valentine's Day, and may your world be filled with Love
Please feel free to use my original poems in your blogs or tweets, but please acknowledge me as the author and link back to my page. Thank you